Originally Posted by acdronin
yeah, there's an historical Japanese internment camp site called Manzanar along that route I've wanted to visit.
Manzanar is a pretty powerful place. I've been three times.
Those in the camps built a small park. Although it hasn't been restored, you get an idea for what it was and what it meant to the internees.
The camp was quite large. Filled with these barracks and a camouflage net factory. Those in the camps voluntarily contributed to the war effort by making camo nets and growing a significant amount of their own food-you have to admire that given these people lost everything and lived in conditions that were less than comfortable in winter or summer.
This monument sits in the cemetery which is located outside the wire fencing. It's significant in that those who were buried there would at least be free. All but six of those buried have been returned to their families. The priest who ministered to the internees was cremated and his ashes spread in the mountains beyond the camp.
This man was a child in the camp. He was visiting with his wife and he was gracious enough to speak with us. The most powerful thing he said was that life had given his family lemons and they chose to make lemonade. His wife seemed pretty bitter about it (she was a Caucasian woman).
I have learned a lot from my visits and can honestly say it's worth taking the driving tour and spending some time in the visitor center.